How to clean a knife block

I store all my kitchen knives in a wooden knife block on my bench, keeping it out of reach from little fingers and for easy access for while I’m cooking.  Another benefit of keeping them in the knife block is that it minimises the risk of cutting fingers if stored in the drawer.  See below for tips on how to keep the knives sharp in your knife block.


these funky cake tins are available here.

Have you considering how dirty knife blocks can get?  Dust and small food particles can quite easily fall into the knife block making it very unhygienic.

Steps to clean knife block

  1. Remove and wash all knives.
  2. Turn block upside down and shake out as much dirt as you can.
  3. Use your vacuum cleaner to suck up any remaining dust and dirt (or you could use your hairdryer to blow them out).
  4. To kill any germs or bacteria hiding in each slot dip a clean pipe cleaner into vinegar, insert pipe cleaner into slot and give a gently scrub, this will also remove any crumbs that maybe stuck.
  5. Wipe over knife block with your homemade reusable wipes.
  6. Leave block to dry thoroughly.
  7. Return knives to block, however ensure they are completely dry.

– Do not soak the knife block in soapy water, the wood may swell.
– You may as well sharpen your knives while you’re at it.

How to keep knives sharp?

The tip is to store your knives in the knife block with the blades facing up, this way you will keep the blades sharp as they aren’t scraping against the wooden block.


How did you go with this task, please let me know!

Set yourself up with a cleaning kit to help you through the challenge, you will find what I keep in my cleaning kit here and use these cleaning checklists to help you remember regular cleaning tasks and create a routine to suit the time you have available.


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Paul June 30, 2015 - 10:04 AM

Dare we say that the humble knife block is probably the most neglected thing in the house in the cleaning regime? And they get oh-so grubby and greasy. :/

Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 4, 2015 - 9:01 PM

very greasy!

Kate Lloyd July 6, 2015 - 11:08 PM

Oh gee, our knife block is something that I just don’t like to even think about. How horrible is that! Thanks for giving me the inspiration to give it a good clean Kat.

Eisa July 7, 2015 - 3:07 AM

Mine doesn’t get greasy after keeping it safely inside a cabinet. I am a police officer and this is a true story. Years ago a local serial killer in my county used knives he picked up from the ladies- who became his victims– own countertop. I moved my block inside a cabinet just as I wouldn’t leave my pistol sitting out on the countertop. Plus, I don’t like the cluttered look of it all.

Soni April 6, 2016 - 7:07 AM

Out knife block lives in the pantry, away from children’s reach. The slots on our block are sideways rather than up and down- interesting.

Farah Dyer-Steel October 25, 2017 - 7:33 PM

will definitely try cleaning my knife block, i’d done everything except the vacuum bit and the pipecleaner dipped in vinegar part already. question: i want to get rid of some old knives, now that i have the knife block – can you suggest a way of disposing of them safely? all i can think of is to wrap them in several sheets of newspaper and then drop into the bin. it’s got me stumped…

Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 26, 2017 - 1:11 PM

That’s how I dispose glass. Perhaps wrap some tape around it also to be sure they don’t fall out

LondonBaldwin September 14, 2019 - 8:34 PM

I have a professional knife sharpener come to my house once a year or so to tidy up the edges of every knife in the house. He gave me a piece of advice that I’ve used since we first met. Always put your blades facing up in the block. This prevents the blade from slotting the block and the edge is not cutting a little bit of wood each time you take it out or put it in the block. Such a simple but genius bit of advice!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife September 16, 2019 - 3:30 PM

Fabulous advice! Thanks so much for sharing. Kat 🙂


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